Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Mayor is Poised

So claims the headline from the Post-Gazette: Mayor poised to name new department heads.

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said yesterday that he is close to making decisions on the 11 department director and authority director posts and several other administration jobs that are either held by people who submitted resignation letters, or vacant.

The mayor has a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. today, but the administration would not confirm that the posts are the topic.

The Comet anticipates that Ravenstahl will lead off his personnel moves by appointing a new Equal Employment Opportunity Officer. (CORRECTION: The position has been filled.)

Recall this from the New Pgh Courier:

Though the directorships are in limbo, Ravenstahl said they would not be so for long. Acting Communications Director Joanna Doven said the search for the Assistant Director/EEO Officer is nearly complete.

"We have narrowed it down to two candidates and after their second interviews this week, we'll make our choice. So should be done in about two weeks," she said. "It's been a very rigorous process and we've interviewed a lot of people so we excited about that."

The 10 directorship positions will not be filled until the EEO officer is in place.

That came out roughly eight weeks ago.


  1. The ADB makes a hilarious observation today about Ravenstahl and his "poising," so to speak.

  2. You know, I could have sworn the Mayor had already picked an EEO officer, but I guess I was mistaken. Who can tell the fake news from the real news anymore? I guess the real news are the stories that seem less credible ...

  3. You know, Ed, in this case it is entirely possible that I missed that. I tried to check the city job listings last night to double-check, but they were down -- possibly in order to heighten the suspense of today's moves. I'll issue a prominent correction if I'm mistaken.

  4. Ravenstahl shakes up staff
    Thursday, September 13, 2007
    By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced a series of staff shifts today, advancing -- but not quite ending -- a three-month process geared toward ensuring that the city and its authorities are managed according to his standards.

    Current Director of Economic and Community Development Pat Ford, 44 and of Lincoln Place, will become executive director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, replacing Jerome Dettore, who was among directors asked to submit a tentative resignation letter in June and who left in July to pursue other opportunities.

    Mr. Ford's current development post will not be filled.

    A new Mayor's Office position, director of operations, will be filled by Art Victor, a veteran of Allegheny County Commissioner Bob Cranmer's staff who is now with Green Tree-based correctional medical firm Wexford Health Services.

    Alecia Sirk, a former reporter and communications professional who is also Mr. Ford's wife, will be press secretary.

    Leaving effective Sept. 24 will be Bureau of Building Inspection Chief Ron Graziano, 47, and Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority Executive Director Gregory Tutsock, 52.

    Fire Chief Mike Huss will leave that role to become a full-time public safety director, a job he has held in addition to his other duties. He will be replaced as fire chief by Darryl Jones, 46, who left a job as chief of the Aliquippa Fire Department in July to become an assistant chief in Pittsburgh.

    George Specter, 72, who has served as acting solicitor since July 2006, will become solicitor.

    Several managers asked to submit resignation letters in June will be kept on. They are Public Works Director Guy Costa, 51, City Information Systems Director Howard Stern, 46, Equal Opportunity Review Commission Manager Phil Petite, 56, Emergency Medical Services Chief Robert McCaughan, 53, Parks Director Duane Ashley, 55, Parking Authority Executive Director David Onorato, 50, and Housing Authority Executive A. Fulton Meachem Jr., 38.

    Mr. Ravenstahl said his decision in June to request resignation letters from 11 directors helped him to "raise the bar" for city managers. Other than replacing Mr. Graziano and Mr. Tutsock, he said he doesn't anticipate other changes in the immediate future.

    "As long as those we've retained continue to do their jobs well, they'll stay," he said.

    He said that he received applications for most of the positions, and that the number of qualified applicants for building inspection chief and water authority director was particularly notable. He did not provide a timetable for filling those posts.

    Promoted Fire Chief Jones is African American. Mr. Ravenstahl has promised to increase the diversity in city leadership generally, and in public safety, specifically.

  5. Bram, you know, I have no idea. I just looked at the job listings, and it looks like EEO officer job is gone (someone check me on that). On the other hand, I scanned the PG's, Trib's and Courier's websites for EEO and found nothing. In truth I think I saw the Courier article you referenced, possibly here, and just assumed the thing was done.

  6. Humm... The New Pgh Courier newspaper talked about (reported on) a new hire for the ASSISTANT Director post in Equal Op -- last month.